This year, the home office became a treasured room in most people’s homes. To improve your WFH experience (and make it infinitely more comfortable), here are a few smart tech options.
We all know that the coronavirus pandemic forced many Americans to hunker down and conduct business from home. So, with so many people adapting to the WFH lifestyle, there’s no better time than now to create the ultimate smart home office. Today, we’ll be talking about a few additions that can really improve your WFH experience.
According to Healthline, people who sit a lot every day have an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. An adjustable sit-stand desk, such as the Airlift from Seville Classics, encourages you to stand. Not only does this boast several health benefits, it also increases productivity and makes you look better on video (for those Zoom meetings).
The Airlift electric desk features sleek modern design with a glass top and convenient USB ports located on the front of the desk, which allow for easy charging of various devices throughout the day. Not to mention, memory settings make it easy to cultivate healthy habits of standing while you’re working. Most importantly, the desk is very easy to assemble.
When you’re not standing, Secretlab recommends setting up a comfortable workstation. With all their ergonomic features and a wide range of adjustments, Secretlab chairs are the ideal stay-home companion.
A chair that supports your back properly and relieves strain is a necessity these days — not a luxury. You’ll find yourself far more focused and alert throughout the day, and your back will thank you for it.
Now, let’s move on to another essential component of a home office in the pandemic era. Whether you’re in a Zoom meeting or sending a personalized video to a client via BombBomb, it’s important to have a nice, high-quality webcam.
You can pick up an affordable full HD camera that clips right on to your monitor for only $50-100. Logitech is a great brand with a few different options. (For tips on how to create professional-looking personal videos at home, I recommend reading Rehumanize Your Business by Ethan Beute and Stephen Pacinelli.)
You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got good sound quality. You can either use the same earbuds you use for your smartphone, or for something more professional, look into buying a USB or 3.5mm microphone that plugs straight into your computer.
It’s also important to have good lighting in your office. You can automate your lighting based on time of day or activities. Lightstrips and light panels are a fun way to add color to your room, enhance your background on Zoom. They can even be used for notifications.
We’ve got accent lighting that changes color when our doorbell senses motion or when the garage door is open. That way, even if you’re wearing headphones, you’ll see that someone is there. We recommend AduroSmart or Sengled light strips and Nanoleaf light panels.
As Mitch Klein, executive director for the Z-Wave Alliance, said:
“Many of the same devices being used to create the smart home that make life at home easier and more convenient can be repurposed to provide benefits for a home office or work from home setup.
Environmental factors, such as temperature and lighting can have a significant impact on how we feel and how productive we are at home. Upgrading your lighting with smart bulbs or switches enables you to automate your lighting systems and installing a thermostat with smart home connectivity means zones within your home are always at the ideal temperature for whoever is home.
There is also room for creativity. For example, a connected color changing RGBW bulb can be deployed to visually indicate if you’re on an important call or, a simple plug-in appliance module can help add some intelligence to your coffee maker to begin preparing a fresh pot before your morning alarm even goes off.
Deploying multiple plug-in modules can also help you remotely power on or off other electronics or receiver an alert if a device — like the TV — has been turned on while children are supposed to be learning from home while you’re working from home.”
If you’ve got sensitive documents or just need to keep family members out, the Yale Assure lever lock quickly replaces your existing door handle and can be accessed via the keypad or your smart home system. Yale has also released a line of digital safes with alarms built in that can be fixed to a wall or floor.
Tired of constantly replacing ink cartridges on your home printer? The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 uses easy-to-fill supersized ink tanks. You can save up to 80 percent with low-cost replacement ink bottles versus standard-capacity color laser toner cartridges.
Each replacement ink set includes enough ink to print up to 6,000 pages. There is a scanner built in, and multiple family members can connect to it wirelessly over the home network. For more on smart home office solutions, you can tune into this week’s video.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.